Below is a recent External Examiners Report for the course.  If you would like to read comments made by students please click here.

This was my final year as external examiner for this degree.  As I observed last year, ‘the organisation of the degree and its administration continues to be exemplary.  I again received all the information I required (and in good time) and I was able to perform the external role as intended.  Those responsible for administering this degree have been exceptionally cooperative and considerate and have always taken seriously any comments I have made.  The quality of most work submitted was of a very high standard and continued to reflect an admissions process that secures mature and experienced students.  I remain in full agreement with the academic standards set and am sure that they are appropriate.’  In fact my report a year ago accurately reflects my experience over the last year.

The assessment processes continued to be remarkably thorough and each student’s work was again fairly and conscientiously considered.  Significant detailed feedback was again provided and this invariably justified the mark awarded. This cohort of students was of almost uniformly high ability and their work reflected both this and the experience that most of them (if not all) had of the practical application of international human rights law.  Because of the distance learning element it is not easy to directly compare these students with other cohorts elsewhere but again it can be said with confidence that their achievements are at least the equal of any similar student body and probably superior.

I do not think that there are any issues that need to be brought to the attention of the University.  My own preference would be that the degree also had a ‘Merit’ category for those averaging 60+ as it seems to me that there is a huge difference in quality between marks that average in the 50s and those in the high 60s.  I understand however that this is not a view shared by the University and do not wish to press the matter.

This remains an innovative degree that is meeting a demonstrable need.  It is very demanding of its students but the assessment work makes it clear that they respond with enthusiasm and while reaching high academic standards they also receive excellent education.

It has again been a pleasure to be the external examiner.

Wade Mansell
Professor of International Law
University of Kent